Photography by David Monteith-Hodge
I use theatre and performance to bring out the best in people, to make people question and think about their role in the world we live in and have the confidence to make a difference. I build ensembles so that people can work together, learn from one another and communicate with mindfulness and creativity. I use the method of PLAY. I look for authenticity and push the boundaries. I ask people: young and not-so-young to look inside themselves and encourage them to bring themselves into their full potential.
I was born and brought up in Scotland. At the age of 17, I went to study theatre and performance at Dundee College, Dundee and then onto Langside College, Glasgow and made lifelong friends. By the age of 20, I was working professionally as a performer. My first gig as a graduate was with Bard in the Botanics and I played a fairy in Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Nights Dream'. I had one line. I did however get to sing and dance a lot - it was a play with songs!
I then toured nationally with different theatre companies. The work ranged from children's theatre in schools to pantomime to a one woman show accompanied by a jazz band! A freaking awesome jazz band actually - I loved just watching them improvise.
Not long after graduating I soon became frustrated at 'waiting for the phone to ring' and decided I wanted a bit of power myself. I had started learning British Sign Language - a language that had always fascinated me - and as serendipity or coincidence or opportunity would have it I managed to get my foot in the door at the theatre company Solar Bear, at just the time when they were launching their Deaf Youth Theatre (DYT). I spent four incredible years at SB, working as their DYT Co-ordinator and devising and directing several of the performances. I was also at the company during the hatching of the now BA course in Performance in BSL and English in partnership with The Royal Conservatiore of Scotland.
I moved to London with my actor husband, Brian Ferguson, and, again, as luck or serendipity or opportunity would have it, I met the most wonderful artists and we formed The Deaf and Hearing Ensemble, now called The DH Ensemble.
I also completed my Masters in Advanced Theatre Practice with Distinction at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and was awarded a financial prize by the Saville Club to continue my work.
With The DH Ensemble, I have directed all of the productions to date and have had such an incredible time on every single one of them. We've toured the work nationally, brought it to the Edinburgh Fringe, as well as created and launched the pilot scratch night for D/deaf artists, which is now a co-production with The Battersea Arts Centre, London. We've also led many, many workshops in our own, unique style and continue to make work, show it off and break down barriers and preconceived ideas.
I'm back in Scotland again, with Brian and our new addition, a little baby girl, and gearing up for more new, bold and extraordinary projects.